The stereotype of the disconnected male is one thing, but when the inability to be emotionally close is sourced from an avoidant attachment issue, it changes the game. This is the beginning of a series of articles focused on attachment patterns, starting with avoidant attachment. First of all, what is avoidant attachment, where does it come from, and how does it manifest?
Defining Avoidant Attachment
Attachment theory was first studied in the 1960s and 1970s in relation to children’s relationships with their parents. There are several different kinds of attachment styles. Avoidant attachment develops in early childhood and typically manifests as a child not being distressed when they are separated from their parents. In fact, the child may appear to avoid contact with their parents. This is typically a defense mechanism. As it’s difficult to have honest and deep relationships with yourself and others while engaging in avoidant attachment, it’s vital to learn the origins and manifestations of this style of attachment.
Early Childhood Origins
The ways in which parents interact with their children during their first few months of life provides a foundation for the child’s relationship with attachment. When parents are detached from their children, the children take note and can begin to internalize those feelings of detachment. This kind of attachment issue is most often a result of emotionally distant or dismissive parents. Avoidant attachment becomes a defense mechanism for avoiding future attachments.
Signs that You Are Struggling with Avoidant Attachment
Everyone experiences commitment fears or some kind of disconnection at some point in life. However, when you’re continually struggling to feel connected to your partners and friends, this is a red flag. Finding it difficult to voice your feelings, avoiding emotional confrontations, or experiencing a deep-seated fear of rejection are all signs of avoidant attachment issues. Listen to your inner voice. “You don’t need anyone” or “you’re too good for him/her” or “women will try to box you in” are all voices of avoidant attachment. Once you are aware that you’re exhibiting signs of avoidant attachment, there are steps you can take to change your thought patterns and break out of the cycle.
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